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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  December 11, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall reporting from washington, d.c. the "news nation" is following breaking news. >> just say no! >> massive pro-union power and not enough to stop michigan's republican lawmakers from approving two bills making it illegal for public and private unions to compel workers to pay union dues a. short time ago, the michigan legislature okayed the bills despite protests of more than 10,000 workers who came out in the freezing cold to show their opposition. and past hour, republican governor rick snyder pledged to sign both in to law as early as tomorrow making michigan the nation's 24th right to work state.
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>> i didn't do this for the politics. this is a policy issue that came about because the proposal 2 went down and we had a large-scale discussion going on and best to say it's on the table. let's make decisions, move forward. this is to move michigan forward. about more and better jobs and worker choice. >> and one top union official has vowed to wage war against lawmakers that support the measure saying, quote, we are going to take you out. nbc's ron mott has the latest of lansing. >> reporter: good afternoon, tamron. protest is the word of the day. they're voicing opposition to this legislation that would make michigan the 24th right to work state in the country. now, the governor rick snyder is expected to sign this legislation when and if it hits his desk. a lot of folks here believe that this is a back door attempt at trying to limit democracy in the state of michigan. you can hear some of the protests behind me and union
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workers here believe it's a direct attempt at trying to break the backs of the unions as i should say and a lot of folks believe that this is payback for the result of the election on november 6th. the re-election of president obama. i spoke with the head of the chamber of commerce here in michigan. he believes this is going to be beneficial to the state. helps him go around the country and around the world promoting jobs in michigan. this will make business more pro-friendly here in michigan. now, some of the workers here today believe it's an issue of fairness. that they believe all the advances that union leadership over the generations have helped to put in effect here in this state are essentially going to be taken advantage of nonpaying members. here's what a member had to say this morning. >> you bring a nonunion worker in there, he gets the same pay i did for no training whatsoever and not doing the job and get representation without having to pay -- i pay union dues.
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he's going to get the same representation i get and not have to pay. where is that fair? >> reporter: when and if governor snyder signs the legislation a lot of folks will say he's turned his back on the word but the nature of this debate here in michigan, a lot of folks believe that because this is being passed through lame duck session, you have a little more liberal body coming in with the next legislature and this is a way for republicans to get back at democrats for their successes earlier in november with the election, re-election of president obama. we'll have to see where this debate goes from here. what's interesting to note is that this legislation was tied to an appropriations measure and cannot be rescinded by referendum which we saw in ohio. now back to you. >> all right. thank you. joining me now, michigan congressman levine, ranking democrat on the house ways and means committee. thank you for your time. >> good to be here.
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>> you said that the governor divided michigan, that this is his legacy, frightful not only for him but the people of the state and for the middle class. how are you processing what's happened this morning in your home state? >> it's a terrible result. here's what's at stake. a voice for workers in the workplace. this turbulence, by the way, is bad for michigan. it is also bad for the workplace because workers want a voice and they got one. they want to be sure that when conditions are set, they're part of the process. and essentially, here's what happens under so-called -- under this so-called bill. look. it isn't a matter of freedom. what it says is this. when a union is picked, when people are able to select a bargaining representative by majority vote, the person who represe represents, the group that
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represents those workers has to represent everybody freely and completely. there can be no discrimination. they don't have to pay union dues. they don't have to belong to a union but everybody should pay a fair share of the representation from which they benefit. that's what's at stake here. essentially, should there be free riders? i don't think so. in this country, everybody should bear their responsibility and when the governor says it's good for business, just ask the executives of the big three whether they want the turmoil within the workplace. >> sir -- >> the answer is, they don't. >> let me bring up what some noted what they're calling hypocrisy of democrats and something from "the washington times" saying democrats are showing a bit of hypocrisy with right to work legislation, supporting choice when it comes to subjects like abortion and marriage but hurting the political ambitions they repute any effort to give more choice.
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they now seem to have the sole purpose of spending union clues on liberal issues and liberal democratic campaigns across the country without input of workers forced to join in. the bottom line, the implication in the article and what some republicans are saying is that you have the power of the union vote, for example, in this past presidential election. but in fact, you don't want to give workers a choice. >> that's nonsense. look. people would have to pay some fee to be represented from which they benefit. none of the money that they put in can be used for political purposes. it's not a matter of free choice. essentially what so-called right to work does is says this. that there will be increasingly less choice for workers to be represented in the workplace because those who represent them will have less and less in terms of resources in order to represent them. this is an effort to cripple a
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voice in the workplace. that's what this is all about. if you look at states that have so-called right to work, there are fewer and fewer collective bargaining agreements. workers do not have a voice. the voice of workers helped to make the middle class in this country. to help the middle class in michigan. to raise wages for everybody. to raise so that everybody had health benefits. so they had a retirement. this is an effort to cripple people's right to have a voice in the workplace. we fought for this. when we started this decades ago, teachers were making $5,000 a year. firefighters were making $5,000 a year. because they had a voice in the workplace, their pay went up. they got retirement. they also got health care. this is an effort essentially not only to turn back the clock but to rip its hands off. this is a tragic day. not only for the people of michigan but for decent labor
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management relations in michigan and throughout this country. >> congressman, thank you so much for your time. reacting to this breaking news story that we'll continue to following there this hour. thank you, sir, for your time. we have another developing story with the ongoing negotiations of the fiscal cliff. despite spine signs of a deal in sight, house speaker boehner accused the president of holding back when it comes to spending cuts. >> the longer white house slow walk this is process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff. we know that the president wants more stimulus spending and increase in the debt limit without any cuts or reforms. that's not fixing our problem. frankly, it's making it worse. >> let me bring in our "news nation" political panel this hour. chris cafinus, michael smerkonish and louies romanis. what are we to make of speaker
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boehner coming out today, not sure of the overall message other than he wanted to have, i guess, a sound bite to play today as we continue to talk and the president is off at least negotiating behind the scenes on the fiscal cliff. >> i think you called it, tamron. look, the rhetoric is scaled back dramatically in the last few days. they're talking and seriously evidenced by the fact we're not learning that much. they're keeping it pretty close to the vest. i think the speaker is under enormous pressure of his own caucus to get something, to extract something in return for these tax hikes. and that's why he's talking about spending cuts. but i think that they're moving along on this process is my interpretation of it. >> as we understand it, both sides are asking for more specifics regarding tax revenue, the president and the white house wants more specifics from boehner. boehner wants more specifics on spending cuts. they have to come to a point of agreement. it would seem, chris.
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i want to play just a collective i guess ensemble of conservative voices who have all pretty much said throw in the towel on this tax rates issue. let me play it. >> my view is get the tax issue off the table. it's the weakest one for republicans. >> boehner does not have the unity behind him so it looks as if his path is going to be to concede on rates. >> i guess what i'm saying is i don't think there's a republican alive who could stop what's going to happen. we don't have the leverage. the power isn't there. >> so if the power isn't there, do you think that played in to why speaker boehner came out with a brief message and kind of said really nothing? >> i think, excuse me, i think speaker boehner's under enormous pressure of his right flank. >> we know that. >> i think he's struggling with a way to basically show them that he's standing up for their concerns. with on the other side, you
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know, negotiating with the white house, trying to figure out what's a deal that can pass. >> what are their concerns at this point when you have bill kristol, krautheimer rush limbaugh saying this part of the negotiation is done? >> i think they want as much out of it as possible. >> the debt -- >> spending cuts. the debt ceiling is i don't think a part of this final deal. maybe. >> may be a part of the leverage the republicans use down the road. >> also i think they want as big spending cuts as possible in order to justify the tax increases that are coming and know -- listen. once we go over the fiscal cliff, their leverage is gone and i think they have come to turns with the cold reality but not accepted it yet. >> once or if we go over the cliff, the leverage may be gone for the republicans but not a position the president or the white house wants to be in
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either. >> it will hurt the economy if nothing else. it shows the american people that republicans and democrats at any level seemingly can't work together. >> michael, that's an interesting point. the american public for the most part i think tuning in and out of this. you have "the washington post" reporting that some investors are taking preemptive action to get ahead of things, moving and selling investments offload stocks, expanding charitable donations and expanding tax shelters if you have enough cash to do something like that, preparing for the end of the year. the nutshell, the people with the cash waiting or at least making a plan to do something with it if these shenanigans if i can call it that continue in washington. >> i think most individuals, however, don't know what they should be doing or if they should be doing anything. i think it's a very hard debate for people to follow and i base that on discussing this subject each and every day on the radio and taking phone calls on it. my one surprise about boehner is that if the speaker was going to take to the floor and try and
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curry favor with his members and the public and doesn't just concede raising taxes for the wealthiest of americans because i do believe that would then shift the onus back toward the white house for spending cuts but he just doesn't bring himself fully to say that which i think would trigger this kind of a reaction. >> i want to switch topics while i have you altogether. michigan and what's happening there. again, michael, you talked to people all day long. andrea mitchell noted it. i lived in illinois and chicago for ten years. we know the importance of unions in that area. to see what's happened in michigan today would i think be described as incredible to so many people and the labor workers with the auto union and feel they've made sack fiss and for them this is a kick in the face. >> right. the ramifications i think nationally cannot be overblown. if this were a story about south carolina, if this were a story about a sun belt state, i don't
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know that it would cause the ripples but, instead, we are saying, well, if this could be the outcome in michigan, why couldn't this be the outcome in my native pennsylvania? why couldn't this be the outcome in ohio? it speaks to a fragile position unions find themselves in in all parts of the country. >> louis, does it put the democratic party in a fragile position? many say that the whole reason democrats are behind unions to curry favor and time to vote that you have this huge bloc of people to support you do or die. >> i'm not sure they're in a fragile position but i think this is very distracting. they have a lot of other fronts they want to be fighting on and to have this come up as you all are saying in an industrial state that could have ramifications in ohio and pennsylvania, i think is very difficult for the democrats to have all eyes focused on that.
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>> and chris, a lot of attention, of course, on the republican governors pushing this and as our first read team pointed out the big battle in wisconsin with scott walker, democrats all over coming in the state and vowing him to take down. he survived. is there a lesson to be learned? governor snyder saying indiana is a right to work state. is it a new day that your party will have to awaken to or another fight to be had here? >> i don't think it's a new day that we have to awaken to. the logic of the argument that somehow unions are responsible for the economic woes of the middle class or economy at large is illogical. it is not true. so i mean, this is clearly -- governor snyder may not say it's political but it's clearly political. he is trying to appease his base. i would say are they listening to the american people? are they watching what happened in the next election? because governor snyder, governor kasich up for
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re-election relatively soon and face a more united democratic party. >> that was the threat to scott walker. that was the very threat that he faced -- >> correct. >> this monster or wave of force. >> but i would say the difference there was in a referend referendum, talking about a smaller group of people to vote. this one because it seems so unnecessary, it wasn't something by the way that governor snyder said he was going to run on. he said the opposite. >> right. which was the same case with walker. >> now he's done a 180 and in a state that is i would say even bluer than wisconsin so i think, you know, this is going to be the final outcome of this is decided when he's up for re-election and i have a feeling he's not going to like the outcome. thank you. up next, the silence of the gop after the supreme court's decision to take up sake-sex marriage. an activist says, quote, they're hoping the issue will go away. plus, one key justice stands
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by his latest comments saying if we cannot have moral feelings about homosexuality, can we have it against murder? we'll take a lock at the latest comments made. plus -- >> what are the lessons of the 2012 election? >> what are the lessons? new questions of the rnc's autopsy to figure out what happened. will the project satisfy conservatives who believe establishment republicans are simply making money off the gop? you can join our conversation on twitter. find us. anncr: some politicians seem to think medicare and... social security are just numbers in a budget. well, we worked hard for those benefits. we earned them. and if washington tries to cram decisions about the future... of these programs into a last minute budget deal... we'll all pay the price. aarp is fighting to protect seniors with responsible...
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welcome back. as the supreme court prepares to
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take up the issue of same-sex marriage, yus tis scalia finds himself defending his writings. there's a report that a rare public appearance yesterday scalia was asked by a gay student about prior writings comparing laws barring sodomy and those of murder. scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing parallels between the bans. he said, quote, i don't think it's necessary but it's effective. it's a form of argument that i thought you would have known which is called the reduction to the absurd. house republican leaders have had a uniform response to the supreme court's decision to take up gay marriage. that response, silence. joining me now new york university constitutional law professor kenji oshini and reporter for politico, lois
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romano. the appearance yesterday, as i noted, the question that the student posed to him, what are we to make of his prior writings and the future decision from the high court? >> right. so, i think this is a direct allusion back to his scathing dissent in the 2003 case of lawrence versus texas. >> correct, yes. >> struck down the texas sodomy statute and he said, you know, if we are not allowed to make moral judgments, if the legislature's not allowed to do that, we're on a slippery slope here. there's an easy way to drive a stake in that slippery slope based on the harm principle. you know, we can see that murder harms people. it is not as clear that same-sex marriage will harm anybody. also, there's something interesting where he says if we're deprived of the argument how can we not afford the same-sex couples be allowed to
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marry? >> it's interesting, a part of the comments he said the constitution is not an organism but a legal text for pete's sake. those are his words and said unless you give the laws the meaning of those that enacted them you're destroying democracy. that was the latest comment in addition to what we quoted. >> yes. i just have to say that this is actually a long standing debate within constitutional law and the only thing to say here is to say framers to careful to say equality or liberty. if they wanted to specify the equality they cared about or the liberty they cared about they could have enumerating them more specifically so the fact that they jumped up to that level of generality i think makes it really clear they intended to leave the words to the intelligence of future generations to fill in with circumstances that could not have been themselves predict.
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>> regarding the justices and justice scalia, you have the article in politico talking about the response or lack thereof of members of the gop and you have advocates or conservative advocates who say and have noted the silence so this is not coming from the quote/unquote mainstream media or liberal media as some say but conservative advocates. >> i think what you are seeing is a couple of things here, tamron, and that is that recent polls have showed that the public just isn't hot on this issue. they sort of think that there should be rights for gays and so, you know, the lawmakers do not want to use their capital on it probably. i'm guessing. the other thing is the fifth vote on romer versus evans for gay rights was justice kennedy and he is often the swing vote. also what goes unreported a lot
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is that justice roberts actually worked on romer when he was a lawyer at hogan and hartson and he worked in favor of gay rights, so all of this taken together maybe they see the handwriting on the wl and think maybe the court is going to not uphold doma. >> is it possible for the gop to remain radio silent? that was the description someone gave, as we move forward here. >> yeah. i think it is. well, they have -- they do have a lawyer that's going to have to speak so we'll hear a little bit about their thinking on that but -- >> sure. >> also, you know, the white house is not going to defend it. the solicitor general is not going to defend the law which is very unusual. >> all right. lois, thank you very much. kenji, we'll be talking with you a lot in the days and months ahead. thank you. >> thank you. coming up, senator john mccain one of susan rice's biggest critics, we know that, goes after a seat on the foreign
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relation s committee. while there's optimism, the president and speaker boehner will strike a deal on the fiscal cliff, nbc's first read team says any deal is fragile. the biggest obstacle right now. "nour business" entrepreneur of the week. lauren wanted to introduce kimchi to mainstream america. with the former skills as a marketer, she created mother-in-law's kimchi using nonethic packaging to appeal to a mass market. for more, watch "your business" this sunday morning on msnbc.
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all the plastic water bottles we use in a year can add up. how's the run? but 300 of them can be replaced with just one brita filter. it was good. thanks. brita. filter for good. welcome back. we're following breaking news. look at this video. just getting this in. it's a gas line explosion in west virginia. this is just north of the state capital charleston. police say several homes are on fire. the interstate as you see there shut down both directions. at least right now, no word of injuries but the gas line explosion just north of charleston, west virginia. keeping an eye on this story and bring you any developments. more on the breaking news out of michigan.
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the state's house gives final approval to right to work bills that would weaken union power. we've got more reaction on the big story this hour. plus, dramatic video, a tornado caught on camera. more on this video and where it happened. it is in our stories around the "news nation." check out our tumblr page. my entire team, that's claire, our intern, headed back to famu. thank you for your help all year. pretty much all year. thank you. you're the best. constipated? yeah. mm. some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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illegal for a public and private unions to take dues from workers' paychecks. labor officials have declared war if you will as they look for ways to counter the measure. here's united autoworkers' president bob king talking to my colleague andrea mitchell within the last hour. >> this is seen as part of a right-wing agenda and the lame duck not only attacking women's rights and teachers and schools and everything that's good for working families. >> let me bring in the editor of "inside michigan politics." bill, thank you for your time. what do you make of the assertion of a right-wing agenda? >> well, it's certainly more conservative elements of the republican party and the business community that are behind right to work. no question about it. but the important thing is enough moderate republicans support it, including the governor himself, that it was able to get through the legislature. >> there are many in that state
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who believe that the governor blindsided the unions here, that i believe the one assertion was that it was a 180, they weren't expecting this from governor snyder. >> i don't think he really blind-sided them. they might like to say that and, yes, it is true he's been saying for two years this is not on his agenda and i think basically he did his best to stop members of his own party in the legislature from passing this but when the unions pushed ahead and put a ballot proposal on the november 6th general election ballot calling for collective bargaining to be enshrined in the state constitution and then got creamed by the voters bay nearly 3-2 margin, i think that set the stage for the pressure to build to pass right to work law. >> what are the options for democrats in the pro-labor groups at this point? >> i think you'll see a lot of litigation. you may see some recall efforts.
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certainly they're going to be very energized in the general election two years from now but that's a whole point of passing legislation in a lame duck session. you get it done in far advance of the next regular election as you can. two years away. when's the economy going to be like? are other issues going to supercede this? >> michigan with the fifth highest percentage of unionized workers, 17.5%. the state's unemployment, 9.1% in october. the in addition's sixth highest. we know the national average is 7.7%. bill, you have a lot of folks today on air and who have been giving interviews saying michigan will be, if you will, the example for other states that if this can happen in michigan it can be followed -- this is the 24th state now, michigan would be. >> certainly that will be the argument that organized labor makes but it depends on what
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happens with the economy and the next year and a half. if it improves, you can imagine the republicans and the business community could be saying, look, right to work certainly hasn't hurt our ability to recover economically. if it doesn't, you will find the unions and democrats saying, look, rick snyder came in to office as governor in 2011 promising to reinvent michigan and turn it around. it is not any better than it was and now shoved right to work down our throats so we have to wait and see and takes a long time to determine. >> all right. bill, thank you so much for your insight. i know you know the state better than anyone. thank you so much, sir. greatly appreciate you making time for us. >> thank you. today negotiations to prevent going over the fiscal cliff, our nbc news first read team writes it this way, while there's some optimism that president obama and house speaker boehner can strike a deal, it's important to point out how fragile any deal would likely be. joining me now, nbc news deputy
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political editor do min coe montenaro. >> you mind up punting to other deadlines, you could wind up with another deadline, another in february, something like that. that's -- that could be what they wind up doing and these are a lot of things always on the table, a lot of these kinds of options but we'll wait and see. i was curious to see john boehner's tone and wasn't try gent. he wasn't saying there's a deal but he wasn't saying, you know, we're nowhere. like he had been saying before. >> when you assert the spth not serious, that is not, hey, we're working on something here. unless you can read in to that something different. >> if you follow the logic saying you're not sere youz because there aren't specific cuts then if there are then it holds that he is being serious then i guess you would think that in the next few days, five,
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seven, seven, eight days you might see specifics. i think what you are seeing is a pr battle where you say if it doesn't pass, who gets the blame? republicans are the ones people say they blame the most and republicans trying to push back on the message. >> they certainly are doing that but when you look at the optics of it, it's pr and what you say and where you say it matters. you have the backdrop with the president yesterday and the union workers in their own battle and face of middle america and middle class and speaker boehner in d.c. on the house floor and still there not with the people. >> well, look. i mean, president obama's criticized for going outside to play that outside game by mitch mcconnell and others but i think president obama's learned in the first few negotiations that what he thought would be things that republicans could sign on to actually didn't turn out to be the case so they decided to take a harder line and use the public pressure.
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>> what are behind the scenes folks saying as far as the likelihood of a timeline for the deal? there's going to be a deal. what it will include and separate and with the tax and other issues down the line but what timeline are we looking senate. >> christmas the 25th. the 21st is day that most people want to get out of d.c. to get back to their home districts so if you look at that, then you would think back time that three days based on the rules. 72 hours so by the 18th which i believe is a tuesday you would have to have something presented to the floor to vote on it. well now, all of a sudden, we're talking, you know, just a few days from now so, you know, maybe they would want something by the 15th or 14th because the 15th a friday and people want to go home to the districts. talking the 14th. three days. >> why did i ask you this? i should have had a map. pull up the ipad or your phone and write it down. nevertheless, we know a couple of days we'll see something. >> a week or so and then talk about maybe it's new year's, not christmas. >> giving may headache with the
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dates. thank you. i guess the nature of d.c. once you get in this town your head swims. thank you. more republican soul searches under way in the wake of the november elections. the republican national committee launched official full scale review of what went wrong. the so-called growth and opportunity project will include a review of the gop's ground game, messaging, fund raising, demographics, primary process and interaction with outside groups. also, a look at what republicans can learn from the tactics used by democrats. here's former rnc chair haley barbour today on "morning joe." >> what are the lessons? negative campaigns still work and one of the first rules of politics still holds. any attack unanswered is an attack admitted. >> governor barbour was talking there about negative ads against mitt romney that the romney campaign did not answer.
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joining me now republican strategist and contributor, danny vargas. it is interesting that they have assembled this group of five people. reflection is always wise. we have talked about the fact that the reflection has to be outreach to the latino community and not as a monolithic group of people but we know as a valuable voting bloc of the future of this country. period. >> a valuable and growing voting bloc. looking to the future -- >> that's in the value of the growth there. >> the interesting thing is and taking place at the national level, the state level, local level throughout this country. i think it's necessary and warranted and i think it's a good thing but i made the comment recently and said imagine 2050 with a republican president and chairman wong around the table thinking about white outreach. the nation is changing. changing demographic. i think the core principles of the party hold true and
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resonates and captures the imagination. what we have been doing wrong i think is talking about in it a way that's negative. i think it's politically people vote as much with their hearts as heads and it's a question of perspective. so if you combine core principles which i think are so strong -- >> for example, when's the core principle of the party on immigration? you have core principles and then policies and the way that we have been dealing with the politics of it. how we communicate with voters. i think if we look at policies and stop talking within the echo chamber and stop talking about hard-core republicans and listen to folk that is might disagree and provide us with a different opinion. >> back to the issue of core principles, i mean, for example, same-sex marriage right now, talking about this article, the gop silent on the supreme court moving ahead to make a decision on two major cases. the issue of immigration. i brought that up. there's a laundry list of
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options being offered by this party. so if you -- what is it saying if you don't stay for something you 'll fall for anything. >> that's true. >> now you have this huge conversation about outreach for women and latinos and it comes off as insincere because of a loss and not a sin veer core value of the party. it's more of an idea of wanting to win and how do you win it in the most expedient fashion. >> i don't disagree and saying to folks at the national and local level is it's not about outreach. it's about engagement. >> authenticity. >> and you've got to be sincere and honest about it and we lost amongst catholics, for example, tells me that we haven't had a sincere dialogue with the community about caring deeply about folks struggling, about poor folks, how our policies and principles better positioned to help people lift them up and we were at the best i think talking the people's hopes and dreams
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and aspirations like reagan did opposed to fears and desperation. we have to get away from scaring people and provide a perspective to care and love and respect folks and provide a hopeful more optimistic future. >> how is that missing from a party that is a part of this? you think about what you're saying. that the party basically has to learn to care about people and be concerned about the poor. that is a tragedy if that's not a basic core of any human being, your neighbor, let alone someone who wants to represent you. >> agreed. it is not that we don't care but done a really poor job of commune katding. >> i love you but i don't tell you. >> like with immigration. we can't tell hispanic voters, we don't like you, we don't want you, go away, vote for me. we have to talk about basics as a party. talking about personal responsibility and opportunity and liberties and limited but
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effective government and these types of thing it is a resonate with voters we have done a poor job of talking about the core principles for policies and communica communicate. >> probably people wish you were one of the five co-chairs of the group. always a pleasure. thank you so much. >> thank you. up next, the latest on former south african president mandela. he has a lung infection and been in the hospital for three days. we have the latest in a live report. [ male announcer ] this is bob, a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem,
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you understand and you know it has to happen. mandela is in the hospital since saturday for what officials are saying is a recuring lung infection and responding well to treatment but supporters are worrying about his health. again, this interview was done in 2009 with mr. mandela's wife and rebroadcast on south african news channel. >> reporter: that's right. and rebroadcast with a new poignancy today. he was taken in to the hospital on saturday morning. air lifted around 500 miles and since then all we have known really is that he's been having tests. we don't know what type of tests but a spokesperson saying that these are the sort of tests you would expect for a man of his age. now today, the first concrete medical bulletin of the office of the president here who has
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said that nelson mandela is being treated for a lung infection. this, a recurrence of a previous infection which led to him being hospitalized around two years ago. he's 94 years old. he's incredibly frail and relatively real think and certainly has been for the past few months but he does have a history of lung conditions. in 1988, he was taken from robin island to a hospital where he was treated for tubercolosis and everyone watching and hoping for new updates with positive news. he's perhaps the most revered man anywhere in the world and certainly no more than here in south africa where he became the first black president in 1994. tamron? >> thank you very much. we'll continue, of course, to bring the latest news to our viewers here. nbc's first read team say there is's no evidence labor will win the right to work
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battle in michigan. so, how does labor regroup? this is our "news nation" gut check especially for you. that's right. i've learned the only way to get a holiday deal is to camp out. you know we've been open all night. is this a trick to get my spot? [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. save on ground shipping at fedex office. for thos...this...ions of doing break fromthis...liday stress. ...and this, dancing in their heads... ...we have these. home depot gift cards. give the gift of doing, in-store or online. woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you -- including the fact that a preferred risk policy starts as low as $129 a year.
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there is a lot going on today. here's things for you to know. senator mccain is seeking a spot on the senate foreign relations. if he succeeds it would give him a seat to grill susan rice if nominated as secretary of state. senator mccain is one of her harshest republican critics and the first read team notes it may not be just about susan rice. and yale university is out with its most notable quotes of 2012. and most deal with politics. here are the top three. president obama's you didn't build that. at number two, mitt romney's reference to binders full of women. and number one, you know it and
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know it very well. the 47% comment. those are the things we just thought you should know. and time now for the "news nation" gut check. when michigan becomes the 24th right to work state as expected, it will deal a major blow to the labor union movement. today, uaw president bob king struck a defiant tone. 'these right-wing republicans are making a huge mistake. they're waking up a sleeping giant. people are angry. >> but our first read team says it may be time for labor to look past the fight over right to work laws writing for labor there's no evidence they're going to be able to win this right to work battle or future ones down the road. how does labor regroup? does it decide to concede on things like right to work in favor of collective bargaining? should labor concede on things like right to work in favor of
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collective bargaining? go to to cast the vote and have the results tomorrow. that does it for this edition. i'm tamron hall. thank you for joining us. "the cycle" is up next. plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely, but for many, it gets skin clearer fast, within 2 months, and keeps it clearer up to 9 months. [ male announcer ] because enbrel®, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal, events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b,
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